(AK - 108: displacement 4,023 (light); length 441’6”; beam 56’11”; draft 28’4”; speed 13 knots; complement 289; armament 1 5”, 4 40mm., 12 20mm.; class Crater; type EC2-S-C1)
Rotanin (AK-108), originally named William Kelly, was laid down 24 July 1943 under Maritime Commission contract (MCE-1872) by the California Shipbuilding Co., Terminal Island, Calif.; launched 18 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Andrew R. Bone; and commissioned 23 November 1943, Lt. William L. Howard, USNR, in command.
Completing shakedown 5 December, Rotanin loaded her first combat cargo and embarked her first military passengers at Port Hueneme, Calif., and on the 12th sailed for Noumea. Arriving 5 January 1944, she carried troops and cargo to Guadalcanal, then, on the 27th, continued on to the Russell Islands. By 2 February, she had discharged all cargo and was underway back to the Guadalcanal-Florida Island area. From then until March, she carried cargo and personnel throughout the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomons, the Fijis, and the New Hebrides. In April she completed a run to Auckland, New Zealand, and in May she moved supplies to Manus. She then resumed runs in the Solomons-New Hebrides-Fiji area.
In August, Rotanin shifted to the Marshalls-Marianas area and at the end of the month she moved further west, to Ulithi. In October, she carried Army units to the Palaus, embarked marines there, and transported them to the Russells. In November, she returned to operations in the Marianas, extended them to the Carolines, and in January 1945, returned to Noumea. February and March took her back to Micronesia and New Zealand. In April she was in the Solomons, and, in May, she took on Army supplies and reinforcements for the Okinawa campaign. Arriving off the Hagushi beaches on the 21st, she completed offloading by the end of the month and on the 31st she steamed east.
During June and July, Rotanin again operated in the Marshalls and Marianas. On 28 July she headed for Hawaii and the west coast. En route when hostilities ceased, she arrived at San Francisco on 17 August. In October she joined the ships assigned to transpacific operations to ferry occupation troops to Japan and Korea and to return veterans to the United States.
On 2 February 1946, Rotanin arrived at San Francisco and reported to the Commander, 12th Naval District for inactivation. She was decommissioned on 5 April 1946 and returned to the Maritime Commission. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 17 April.
Rotanin earned one battle star during World War II.
21 October 2005